[thelist] RE:News.com gets a facelift

Jay Greenspan jay at trans-city.com
Wed Jan 24 14:15:31 CST 2001

on 1/24/01 12:52 PM, Nick Koleszar at koleszar at netcomuk.co.uk wrote:

> What a surprise. CNET foists Vignette on the world, then decides it's not
> even good enough for them! Martin, any comments? Mr Greenspun, if you're
> listening, care to comment?

Well, my name isn't Greenspun; however, it is strikingly similar. Thus,
whilst we wait for a reply from the aforementioned Greenspun, I will speak.

I mean I'll just spout off at the mouth for a while.

I think one of the key words that Martin uses is "Enterprise". According to
Broadvision, their average installation cost $410,000; this, I'm assuming
does not include ongoing support. I don't know if this includes in-house
training, hardware conversions, etc. My guess is not, that this is the
amount paid to Broadvision. (Please correct me if this is way off). In any
case, with this kind of money, you're talking about a major investment in
changing the way an <em>enterprise</em> is run. Like an SAP or Siebel.

I know a couple of people who did StoryServer installations and were really,
really disappointed. These weren't terribly large companies that had only
one goal: publishing of text to the Web. In the end they found that the
consultants promised a lot, cost a lot, and didn't carry through. Both ended
up using Vignette like they would any other middleware. And at that point,
why bother? A basic CMS for the Web isn't too tough to write in asp, CF,
PHP, perl, whatever. You guys wrote one for evolt. I co-wrote one in PHP for
a recent project. 

However, to me it seems a matter of scale/growth. The CMS I participated in
would not scale well at all, and really only takes into account one creation
tool (a browser with forms) and one viewing tool (once again, a Web
browser). But, I can see many circumstance,  where a company would want to
give access to a more robust creation/layout tool (FrameMaker +SGML  or
another XML editor, for instance). And at that point, PHP/CF/et al makes
little sense. At that point, I'm guessing, it's going to be either EJB or
COM (whith a thin layer in asp/cf/php for the Web) -- or you shell out the
bucks .

It's a matter of looking at your specific need and addressing it

I've worked in places where systems installations failed. It's expensive and
painful. That's where $150K employees loose their jobs.

Another interesting note, is that according to a Giga Information group
report, the annual market for CMS is right around $250M. However, their
research says that about half of all CMSs are developed in-house. That means
that a lot of people are looking at the alternatives and are not liking what
they are seeing.


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